I’m sitting here wondering if I can talk KD into writing a whole book about this topic. Knowing her as well as I do, I think it would a lot of convincing. But. Maybe someday. She has the real life experiences to bank on.
The title intrigues me. This isn’t about the normal events that take place in church. These are the secrets that destroy the church from under the foundation. Pain and hurt that happens behind the title of Abundant Life. Wounds become infected instead of healed. This is about the things that creep in – Under the Church Door.
The biggest question in my mind right now is, how did this happen? How did we stop welcoming people into the truth but instead keep them trapped in lies? How did we learn how to use fear instead of the Holy Spirit? When did we stop protecting the weak? When did we start giving broken cisterns instead of Living Water?
We ask an individual how they could possibly leave. I want to know how they could even stay. There are stories of the horrible pain this person has gone through. It’s not just one person either. You can ask an Amish: a Beachy Amish, a Mennonite, a Baptist, a Catholic, the stories are all traumatic. The wounds are real.
Not every church or every person is hurting or wrong. There are healthy people raised by the church. But why aren’t there more? Why are the hurting the majority? Maybe you are wondering exactly what has hurt these individuals. Here are a few of the instances I have heard about; physical abuse, emotional abuse, even sexual abuse and one of the hardest ones to explain, spiritual abuse. Spiritual abuse is using the name of God to inflict pain into people.
Church leaders use the Bible to control, shame, and manipulate their members. They preach hellfire on those who sin and at the same time, brush sin under the church door because they don’t know what to do about it.
There are two kind of pain in churches. The first is all the active abuse that happens, things like fathers beating their children. The other kind of pain is passive. It happens to the people who are brave enough to ask for help. Many churches don’t have answers. They honestly don’t know how to help. But, they are the church; they are supposed to have answers. To admit that they don’t is almost like admitting that the Gospel isn’t truth.
What happens to the people that ask for help? Not much. The church might send them to a treatment center. That’s sometimes the best solution they could hope for. Other times they will just get a list of rules that, hopefully if they follow, will give them the answers they are looking for.
This. This is what hurts so many people. The church isn’t willing to help them find answers. The church isn’t willing to get real and messy with people.
What has hurt you?
Has the church given you wounds?
I’d like to tell you the truth.
This is not what God is like.
He is good.
He has hope and answers for you.
I believe it.